Kinetic viscosity test

Kinetic viscosity test

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Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Kinetic viscosity test. Technician tests the flow of a biolubricant oil as it passes through a tube kept at constant temperature. These are oils derived from plant seeds, such as oilseed rape, soya and sunflower. They are less toxic and environmentally safer than petroleum oils. The major drawback to biolubricants are susceptibility to temperature changes, which affect viscosity. At high temperatures, oxidation occurs causing the oil to thicken or gel. At very low temperatures, the oil can crystallise, also causing thickening. Oxidation also creates corrosive by-products which ruins machinery. New biolubricants are being developed that are more resistant to oxidation, including those that are high in oleic acid.

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